Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan

Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan
© Greg Nash

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPolice say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Police say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that any plan to sufficiently address the climate crisis will need to cost at least $10 trillion.

“I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,” the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol.

“I know it’s a ton," she added. "I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but ... it’s just the fact of the scenario.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who helped popularize a set of principles known as the Green New Deal, said that of all the climate plans from the Democratic presidential candidates, she was most supportive of proposals from Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA Democratic presidential hopefuls react to debate placement MORE (Wash.), which surpassed $5 trillion, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' O'Rourke unveils plan to support women, minority-owned businesses MORE (Mass.), which included a $2 trillion green manufacturing element.

She said she was also encouraged that 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE had put out a $5 trillion climate plan, though she criticized the former vice president's proposal for having less-ambitious goals and timelines than others.

All the plans in question could go further, however, she added.

“I think the entire field of climate plans still needs to be pushed,” she said. “I think it just needs to be pushed in terms of the scientific scale, that is scientifically supported in what we need to solve this problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez, whose backing would be a prize for 2020 Democrats seeking the progressive vote, acknowledged that her climate plan price tag would be derided as unrealistic, but argued that it was in line with the scale of the threat.

“It’s not popular, it’s not politically popular. People are going to call it unrealistic, and I just don’t think people understand how bad the problem is,” she said.